The National Magazine of the Local and Community Development Programme Issue 36
www.changingireland.ie / www.changingireland.blogspot.com
Community Resilience: 3,000 groups apply to TĂşs
Better we light a lamp than curse the darkness !
The Hogan Stand - page 12
New Crumlin Projects - page 10
Japan, April 2011 This publication and most projects featured are part of the Local and Community Development Programme
famine is our famine too
here’s some good news on the famine front and Irish NGOs are using local community radio stations to get that news out. If your community station is one of them, be proud! People are donating generously to Irish NGOs and food is – contrary to some media reports – getting through to people who need it. A friend of mine has just returned from Mogadishu. He is attached to a large aid organisation that has been working in Somalia for many years and he has met people caught up in the famine. His message is clear. Do donate. It does make the difference. Food is getting through. He’s right. For instance, Concern is feeding 150,000 people through a food-voucher system. This approach allows hungry people retain some dignity since they don’t have to join food-queues, and it uses existing food distribution systems and involves local people in the distribution. Now you dear readers can help get the message out and about: Donations are important and food is getting through. Run an event in your community or give a personal donation! Some people are saying, “Oh no, not again!” The best approach is to read up on the politics behind this famine (there’s always politics involved) but in the meantime donate to a reputable NGO. And make it a topic of conversation. The emergency facing tens of thousands of communities in East Africa is, tragically, the greatest example of what happens when communities lose their resilience. This issue focuses on how communities in Ireland can become more resilient - we all have power at local level and it’s better we light a lamp than curse the darkness! Regarding famine relief, you can text a €2.50 donation to Concern anytime. Type “aid” and text it to 57500. Or donate online or phone in a bigger donation. Oxfam 01-6727662. • Goal 01-2809779. Trocaire 01 6293333 • Concern 01- 417 7700.
Published By: ‘Changing Ireland’ is the national magazine of the Local and Community Development Programme and is managed and published by Changing Ireland Community Media Ltd. through funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Postal address: ‘Changing Ireland’, c/o Community Enterprise Centre, Moyross, Limerick. Office base: Unit 3, Sarsfield Gardens Business Centre, Sarsfield Gardens, Moyross, Limerick. Tel Editor: 061-458011. Tel Administrator: 061-458090. Fax: 061-325300. E-mail: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.changingireland.ie Also check us out on Youtube, Facebook and Blogger.
Cover Photo: Children in Japan used stormlamps to cope with power-cuts after Japan was hit by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March. The Japanese people have been heralded for their resilience, their very strong sense of community and the very high level of volunteerism that was visible after the abrupt triple-calamity. People shared food, transport and opened community centres 24/7. Looting was noted for its absense. How would Irish communities cope with any of the disruptions visited on Japan? Food distribution, farming, industry, electrical supplies were all disrupted. Japan is now looking to a future where it ends its reliance on nuclear power.
Production: Editor: Allen Meagher Administrator (part-time): Tim Hourigan Editorial team: Viv Sadd, Jim O’Brien, Gráinne Nic Dhonnacha, Gearoid Fitzgibbon, Juan Carlos Azzopardi and Allen Meagher. Reporting: Articles are primarily written by community development workers and volunteers who have an interest in reporting. Design and print by: The Print Factory, Five Alley, Birr, Co. Offaly
Thanks To . . . ‘Changing Ireland’ thanks everyone involved in the production of Issue 36.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the author concerned. They do not, by any means, necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, the editorial team, the management committee of the Changing Ireland Community Media Ltd., or the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. The LCDP involves over 3,000 workers and thousands more volunteers.
5 –NATIONAL PROGRAMME TARGETS 2011
Jobs challenge being met, says Network
6-7 COMMUNITY RESILIENCE 8 ON THE GROUND
12-13 INTERVIEW: THE HOGAN STAND
Clondalkin helps asylum-seekers challenge deportation Cork Travellers celebrate on the double
14-15 SURPRISING INTEREST IN TÚS 3,000 groups apply, 1,200 people recruited Tús uptake in Dublin, Mayo and Kilkenny
9 COMMUNITY SECTOR NEWS:
Dublin jobs conference takes unusual approach Galway: ‘Community Centre’ for sale
Island projects seek some independence
16-17 INTERGENERATIONAL WORK IN DUBLIN & CORK
10 ON THE GROUND
Bofin shows community work can be fun Crumlin projects open doors to public Theory & practice ignored Striking community workers
Slow road to spectacular community changes Camera tips for history lessons IntergenerACTION in Cork and across Europe
18-19 ART & COMMUNITY WORK IN CORK 20 COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY NEWS Facing up to unfair salary differences Mayor says work “bull” at Citizens Forum
21 COMMUNITY SECTOR / PROGRAMME UPDATE 63 bodies approved out of 149 hopefuls IMPACT highlights 20% cuts Programme takes shape
22-23 – CONTROL OF HORSES ACT, 15 YEARS ON – PART 1
11 ON THE GROUND
In focus: Cherry Orchard Equine Centre
Limerick’s new one-stop shop for unemployed Man in court over hatred charges 100 years of International Women’s Days World Cup in Cavan IN BRIEF: €2m for Travellers; Westmeath coverage; Galway tops for community development
24 HORACE, OUR GOOD NEWS CORRESPONDENT 25 – COMMUNITY WORK ON FILM Monaghan produces community work DVD Community DVDs – Do’s and Don’ts!
26 – RESOURCES: MAPPING COMMUNITIES Social inclusion mapping now a reality How to use Pobal Maps
27 – LETTERS
Tús coverage disappoints Happy birthday CWC! Volunteers needed
28 – NEWS
Mary Robinson, the Dalai Lama & Rita Fagan A father’s story from the heart
ross Produced in Moy and el by Changing Ir ia Ltd Community Med
Printed on paper from sustainably managed forests.
The LCDP will provide support to over 53,000 children this year.
news Jobsseek challenge Island projects somebeing met, says independence Network There are over 120 companies and projects funded through the Local and Community Development Programme and helping people through the jobs famine is a priority for every one of them. ALAN JACQUES reports on what 52 Local Development Companies nglish-speaking islands are the moving an unique and innovative inter- funded closer to an agreement on aby the Programme departmental local authority areand doing: management structure for crucial approach the rationalisation and Ireland’s 52 Local to Development Companies projects funded through the Local and integration of CDPs, farm schemes, are working to tackle the “unemployment Community Development Programme. primary school education crisis” in afire-fighting, “difficult environment” by ensuring Negotiations are continuing with and healthcare. optimum use of existing resources, according the Department of Environment, MCGINLEY GIVES COMMITTMENT to the latest report published by the Irish Community and Local Government Padraic was speaking at the island Local Development Network. on how best to manage the staff and agmLocal whichDevelopment new Gaeltacht The paperfederation’s states that work of five Community Development Minister Dinny McGinley attended to Companies (LDCs) havegenerally significantly Projects. assure islanders they had the The five projects concerned are increasedGovernment’s the range and extent support. of supports on Clare Island and Inishturk inoffered Co. through both their enterprise and He said infrastructural and access Mayo, Inishbofin in Co. Galwayemployment and divisions and the 23 Local issues had been largely addressed, Bere and Sherkin islands in Co.Employment Cork Services costing €100mnationwide. over ten years, and the which also provide support to the now the on creating Launchedfocus last was month, paper enterprise provides an smaller Dursey, Whiddy, Long and andthe employment andplay making island-life overview of role LDCs in supporting Heir islands. sustainable. people to re-enter the labour market. Brief “We wanted to stay independent if Minister McGinley said offshore case-studies illustrate the nature and scale we could, but that wasn’t a runner,” islands are “a vital cog” in the of the work they perform in relation to said Bere Island CDP co-ordinator Government’s ambitions for the employment and sector enterprise John Walsh. tourism and hesupport. promised that The proposal being currentlyThe looked LDCs services are working supporthealthcare people to such astochildcare, at by the Department, said John, enter or progress the would labourbemarket in and wastetowards management would see two companies manage four key areas including employment supports, continued. the island projects, one dealingenterprise with The Federation represents supports, work- which placement with Cork, the other with Mayoprogrammes and 33 offshore islands with a total and education and training Galway. population of 2,944 - held its agm on programmes. The chairperson of the Federation Figures forClare the Island. Local Employment Service of Irish Islands, Padraic O’Malley, More info:Employment www.oileain.ieAction Plan Network’s National stressed in June that islands needed (NEAP) in 2010 show that 16,752 people progressed towards employment via training, work placement programmes, education, self-employment and referrals to other State Agencies. The ‘non-NEAP caseload for 2010’ shows progressions of 17,016 in the same areas. The report also states that progressions to employment are about 50% of those to training indicating the need to prioritise training and re-training.
“I want to align the Local and Community Development Programme more with local government, I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There’s a lot of good work being done.”
- Minister Phil Hogan in an interview with ‘Changing Ireland’ in July. Full interview on pages 12-13.
Recession? Eurostat says Irish incomes 3rd highest in EU in 2010. 16.3% of Irish children now live in poverty - OECD
NATIONAL Programme 2011
Programme reaches over 100,000 people he Local and Community Development
‘Ballymun Lullaby’ wins US award film about a project supported by the
Local and Community Development Programme has won a major award in the USA. Frank Berrys’ debut film ‘Ballymun Lullaby’ – about the Ballymun Music Programme - won the director’s award from the Directors Guild of America. Frank went behind the scenes during rehearsals, recordings and performances to shoot his film which featured in the
Jobs challenge being met, says Network ALAN JACQUES REPORTS
here are over 120 companies and projects funded through the Local and Community Development Programme and helping people through the jobs famine is a priority for every one of them. The Programme’s 52 Local Development Companies are working to tackle unemployment in a “difficult environment” by ensuring optimum use of existing resources, according to the latest report published by the Irish Local Development Network. The paper states that LDCs have significantly increased the range and extent of supports offered through both their enterprise and employment divisions and the 23 Local Employment Services nationwide.
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in February and the Galway Film Fleadh in July. “The American award means ‘Ballymun Lullaby’ will be screened in early September to an audience of film directors and distributors on Sunset Boulevard in LA,” reported a delighted Ron Cooney. Ron established the project 15 years ago through the DIT Community Links programme. The aim was simple: to provide an introduction to music through free music lessons in a community that had almost no access to music education. The Ballymun Music Programme featured in this magazine some months back and you’ll find tips on how music helps young people develop on our blog.
Launched last month, the paper provides an overview of the role LDCs play in supporting people to re-enter the labour market. Brief case-studies illustrate the nature and scale of the work they perform in relation to employment and enterprise support. The LDCs are working to support people to enter or progress towards the labour market in four key areas including employment supports, enterprise supports, work placement programmes and education and training programmes. Figures for the Local Employment Service Network’s National Employment Action Plan (NEAP) in 2010 show that 16,752 people progressed towards employment via training, work placement programmes, education, selfemployment and referrals to other State agencies. The ‘nonNEAP caseload for 2010’ shows progressions of 17,016 in the same areas. The report also states that progressions to employment are about 50% of those to training indicating the need to prioritise training and re-training.
Programme (LCDP) aims to train, educate and support over 100,000 people in hard-pressed communities nationwide this year. As part of its overall goals, the LCDP supports individuals into employment and self-employment through education, training, work experience, job placement, enterprise and the social economy in both urban and rural areas. Hundreds of types of support are provided - from supporting children to join homework clubs to helping people run community gardens. The beneficiaries come from 18 target groups, among them older people, the long-term unemployed, carers, drug users and non-Irish nationals. Funding of €63.4m has been made available this year for the Programme. The Department of Environment, Community & Local Government points out: “A key difference between the LCDP and its predecessor programmes is that, when it is fully implemented, it will be delivered through an integrated delivery structure in each of the 52 Local Development Company (LDC) areas. While a national model involving full integration was set out by the Department, it was made clear that other options could be considered once they met a range of criteria including: · Reduced structures; · Better integrated delivery of services; · Supporting efficiencies; and · Reducing company law compliance requirements for projects.”
he Local and Community T Development Programme (LCDP) aims to tackle poverty and social
exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government and its agencies and people in disadvantaged communities. It was launched on 1st January 2010 and superseded the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme and the Community Development Programme. Changing Ireland Community Media Ltd produces the LCDP’s national magazine.
Recession? Eurostat says Irish incomes 3rd highest in EU in 2010.
Resilient communities are lighting the lamps! Which do you trust in more: the euro or your community?
By Allen Meagher
he media’s obsession with Ireland’s economy has distracted us from discussing more useful questions, such as what should families and communities do to prepare for the next crisis or abrupt change. I was curious enough to join 18 others on a three day Community Resilience course in the Eco-Village in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, in June. And I got answers. Those who imagine hiding out in the garage with a big stick, a stock of tinned food and a windup torch are missing the point. As ‘Community Powerdown’ facilitator Chris Chapman put it, “The building block of sustainability is community and people are coming to
Resilience training ozens of Local
Development Companies D helped for nine months to roll
out free courses nationwide for jobseekers focused on the green economy, in conjunction with Greenworks and Cultivate. Funding has now ceased, but 2,000 people received training. One of the courses was called ‘Community Powerdown’ and the groundwork was laid for continuing work in this area.
realise this.” He stressed that we could make far more use of local resources and he praised the many communities already engaged in farmers’ markets or growing their own food. We face immediate challenges with colder winters, economic meltdown and the unemployment crisis that may well be linked to climate change and a peak in the world’s oil production. However, community councils should not be put off by eco-worriers who’ve written off the planet and the human species in its entirety: We’re neither doomed nor powerless and we can help to light lamps locally rather than merely cursing the darkness. Sarah O’Connor of Tipperary town is seeking to repair the damage done by the Celtic Tiger in eroding a once-strong sense of community: “We’re a bit afraid to share with each other, we think we’ll lose out when it’s the opposite – the more we share, the more that comes back to us.” She plans to run the Community Resilience course in her area in the autumn and others are laying similar plans in Roscommon, Leitrim, Louth, Limerick, Mayo, Carlow and Tyrone.
the course. Start by contacting Cultivate. What hidden capacities does your community hold? Has your community ever carried out an assets audit? What skills have your neighbours? If you run such a course, Cultivate say you’re paving the way for local action, for instance: - building co-operation and strengthening the bonds between people in your community. - developing local resilience around food, energy and buildings.
change, but having problems too. “Listen to people, let them talk, it makes them feel more powerful and they’re more likely then to buy into what you’re saying,” advised Damien O’Callaghan from Dundalk, a former salesman who left the world of commerce to strike out in a more meaningful direction. In the future, everyone will need to be an active crewmember in the affairs of their community. The challenge is preparing people for that time.
POWERING DOWN, GROWING STRONG “We knew a lot of things about growing food and taking care of ourselves in the past, before it was educated out of us,” said Maura Carey from Upperchurch in Co. Tipperary. An active member of her local community, Maura was one of 18 people who attended the community resilience training-thetrainers course. We have the potential to reeducate ourselves, she said. Participants were given a ‘Powerdown DVD’, two guidebooks and the skills to run a course in their locality. However, it’s possible for anyone already volunteering or working in a community setting to run
WINNING OVER LOCAL PEOPLE Chris Chapman advises trainers they need to be aware that some people are more receptive than others. “Different approaches press the buttons for people with different value-types,” he said. “I was very interested some years ago to learn why people weren’t listening to me,” he said, referring to new studies into people’s cultural value-systems. He said an average audience in Ireland could be broken into three categories: - Those who don’t like change but do value community. - The Celtic Tiger type, focussed on themselves. - The post-modern type, up for
WHAT TO DO IN YOUR COMMUNITY The DVD and guidebook features exercises, tips and a chapter each for ten different workshops. Chris and Davie simply want people to play the DVD at a public venue in their community and get a conversation going. “Play the ten episodes over ten nights and you’ve run a full course,” said Chris, adding that people are welcome to run a short version of the course. The future Chris and Davie see is a locally-based one where the heroes are local people who see the power of collective action and the potential of small communities to prepare for
5,000 work experience placements: www.jobbridge.ie
future shocks. Running the course may not cost money, but funding may be required if, for instance, you need to hire a community hall or a projector. Community Resilience courses have already been delivered in Laois, Wicklow and West Cork with funding provided by local development companies through the Rural Development Programme (aka LEADER). START YOUR OWN CURRENCY Your community could also consider starting a Transition Towns Initiative. There are now 35 towns in Ireland working towards becoming Transition Towns. They’re growing their own, conducting community assetsurveys and planning ahead. Dozens of communities have experimented with introducing their own local currency. Kenmare, for example, traded ‘Youros’ in a successful experiment for six months.
Co-sufficiency beats self-sufficiency
he future isn’t about building “sustainable communities,” says Davie Philip. “It’s about local resilience.” Resilience training is about helping communities to prepare for the shocks to come that will either prove disastrous or may be the catalyst from which we bounce forward. “We need co-sufficiency, not self-sufficiency,” he said, adding, “The biggest challenge Davie Philips at the training workshop in Cloughjordan is changing people’s mindset.” Something like a hauliers’ Our Future conference, in shop A low-resolution version strike would probably do the November, in Cork. of the film will be freely trick. Most people still don’t More info: www. available on cultivate’s website realise that this country is claimingourfuture.ie by October. never more than three days Also of interest: from running out of food (bar RESOURCES AND MORE www.communitysolutions.com, what’s in your cupboard). INFO www.feasta.org, He urges readers to watch For Community Resilience www.dya.ie and the film “One Hundred guidebooks, contact Davie www.zone5.org, Mornings”, the best Irish film Philip at Cultivate. T: 0505www.changeexploratory.com in a decade according to one 56061. E: email@example.com Community resilience in review. Buy the ‘Community Ireland: Powerdown’ DVD (€10): www.transitiontownsireland. Claiming Our Future meeting ning.com/ Sustainable development will be HYPERLINK “http://www. the theme of the third Claiming cultivate.ie” www.cultivate.ie/
5 easy steps to 125 Programme offices ‘Changing Ireland’ has mapped 125 projects in the Local and Community Development Programme. We’ve pinpointed 95% of the locations to within metres and you can access the project/companies’ email, phone and website details through the map.
Steps: 1. Click on the map. 2. Zoom in. 3. Change the view option to hybrid view. 4. Zoom in more. 5. Use the little ‘Yellow Man’ to google-walk the street. The office you’re looking for is very close. Access the map through our homepage: www.changingireland.ie
Empowered women are more likely to smoke – W.H.O.
Galway tops for community development
Internet search engines can now tell how much interest there is in a word or phrase by city or region. And there are more searches for the term “community development” in Galway than anywhere else in the Republic. Cork and Limerick are in 2nd and 3rd place respectively with the capital Dublin coming a miserable fourth. But it’s a “Google Fact” so can you believe it? Check out ‘Changing Ireland’s blog report to find out more: www.changingireland.blogspot. com
€ 2m for Travellers
Traveller organisations receive over €2 million annually under the Local and Community Development Programme, according to a report submitted to the Council of Europe on July 18th. The funding supports “independent, grass roots community development work with Travellers.” More info: www.coe.int
By Brendan Meehan and Allen Meagher
Clondalkin helps asylum-seekers challenge deportation
londalkin is helping asylum-seekers who have been denied their rights by showing them how to challenge deportation orders. Genuine asylum seekers are vulnerable, they are among those the Programme seeks to support and they’re at the mercy of a system that has been shown to be flawed. CPLN Area Partnership ran information sessions for local asylum seekers in June and covered topics such as: ● How parents without any legal status can apply for Stamp 4 permits. ● How to apply for the revocation of deportation orders. The session was facilitated by Brian Killoran who is the Information and Referral Service
Coordinator of the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Are there other Local Development Companies or Community Development Projects doing this? For more info about Clondalkin’s work, call them on: 01-4508748. Useful link: www.asylumseekersinireland.info
Cork Travellers celebrate on the double
The feature on page 13 of our Spring edition showed how to get parents involved when they’re not likely to sign up for courses. The story generated calls from around the country to Ca O’Neill who works with Limerick City CDP. You can still call Ca on 087-6540664 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In March, the Westmeath Independent and Westmeath Examiner included a 24 page colour supplement on Westmeath Community Development. The project has a good website: www.westcd.ie
The graduates, all O’Driscolls, are Annie, Amanda, Joanne, Anne, Crystal and Kathleen, on June 22nd.
est Cork Traveller Centre based in Clonakilty celebrated the opening of its new premises on June 1st . There were further celebrations when six locals graduated in primary health care on June 22nd. The graduates – six Traveller women – completed a 3-year Primary Health Care training course run by West Cork Travellers for which they received a Fetac Level 3 Major Award in Community Health Advocacy. Some of the graduates will start work this September as Traveller Community Health Workers. Earlier in the month, 150 people attended
Albania remains Europe’s poorest country – Eurostat
the opening of the new centre which boasts a counselling space, a children’s room, and a training room as well as a large kitchen and garden area. The building is now the hub for a range of activities for Travellers around West Cork, providing a venue for women’s and men’s groups, a young mother’s group, youth activities, an after-schools club and Fetac Courses. Centre staff also provide a range of outreach services to the towns of Bantry, Skibbereen, Macroom and Bandon. For more information, call Evie Finlay on: 023 883-5039.
Community News NATIONALLY
Dublin jobs conference takes unusual approach
n international jobs conference in Dublin on October 13-14 will use speed-dating techniques to quickly introduce attendees to new ideas and alternative viewpoints. The conference will identify job-creation measures that should be ditched because they’re past their time and will focus on new ways of doing things at local level since recession struck advanced industrial countries. “The Irish partners (wish) to hear about the most up-to-date theory and practice,” said Ekaterina Travkina of the OECD which is co-hosting the event alongside the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. The invite-only conference will focus on youth unemployment, long-term unemployment, the importance of the social economy and of early childhood supports. “We intend to avoid the type of conference that only involves the passive intake of information,” said Ekaterina. “We’ve tried to do interactive things so that people in the audience are at the same level as the international speakers.” The event will include a local initiatives forum and will report on ten Irish and ten international examples of best practice. The adoption of speed-dating techniques will quickly introduce people to new approaches. It’s designed so that local community workers get to spell out what works best to boost jobs when they join government ministers, academics and civil servants from home and abroad at Dublin Castle. Pobal plans to bring participants on site-visits to projects in Dublin the day before the conference opens. The conference has a cheery title: ‘Building quality jobs in the recovery’. More info: www.oecd.org or call Pobal on: 01-5117000.
Community centre for sale in Galway
community centre and sports hall is up for sale, possibly the first to go under the hammer since the recession struck. Mervue Community Centre in Galway is on the market and four potential buyers were “in talks” about buying the property as ‘Changing Ireland’ went to press. One of the trustees, parish priest Fr. Willie Cummins, said it was really a sports hall even though it was called a community centre. The centre was built in the 1980s and is used by a local women’s club and an active retirement assocation. Fr. Cummins said that after the hall was built, the local soccer club and GAA developed their own facilities. Three main factors have pushed the trustees to this point – high insurance costs, income-decline due to loss of tenants and a mounting list of costly repairs. Now, the exterior and interior of the building has deteriorated in recent years and repairs could cost “up to €150,000”. However, Fr. Cummins stressed that the centre will not change hands without consultation with, and the agreement of, the local community in Mervue. He also confirmed that any organisation that has used the centre regularly, will be able to continue doing so, even if the property is sold. “That’ll be written into the agreement,” said Fr. Cummins, adding that he was now “very hopeful” it will sell. He was unaware of any other community centres or local sports halls for sale in the country. Mervue had a population of 2,130 in the last census and a third of Mervue residents are aged over-55. The LCDP is active in Mervue and Ballybane and provides a wide range of community services.
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In Albania, you shake your head to indicate ‘Yes’.
Striking community workers head back to court
Trionna Ni Rainne, local community worker and SIPTU activist.
A strike involving community workers at Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta (MFG) took place in April. It marked the first industrial strike in 30 years in the State’s largest Gaeltacht and was called off after a visit to the Labour Court. However, both parties sought to return to the court and a hearing was scheduled for the first week in August. MFG work under the Local and Community Development Programme – as well as other work carried out by the not-for-profit company – had come to a halt as ten workers went on strike after four of their colleagues were issued with redundancy notices. The workers were supported by their union SIPTU which argued that the redundancies were not required and that alternative solutions to cost saving at the company can be achieved. MFG is based in Connemara and provides vital services to the most vulnerable communities in the area. Our blog links to a video interview with one of the striking workers.
COMMENT: Theory & practice ignored Mayo development worker, Maria McHale, wrote on our Facebook page in outrage some months ago at the decline in community development expertise within Government departments. “We need a furore about the lack of community development expertise!” she wrote. “I get quite frustrated when the Dept. of Finance gets slated for not having enough financial and economic expertise, but at the same time the theory and practice of community development is becoming increasingly ignored in the ever-changing departments that fund the community sector. Maria was formerly co-ordinator of Louisburg CDP, now merged with South West Mayo Development, where she is now working.
By Brendan Meehan and Allen Meagher
Bofin shows community work can be fun Inishbofin Community Development Project uses music and arts to great effect. The island’s annual arts festival took place from May 6-8th featuring De Dannan, Gemma Hayes and Peadar King, while a fundraising gig in Galway city on March 31st featured Dessie O’Halloran (pictured) and friends. All-Ireland sean-nós dancing champion Emma O’Sullivan was among those who performed with Dessie and we uploaded a video of Emma’s performance on ‘Changing Ireland’s Youtube channel. More recently, the island’s inaugural Inishbofin Walking Festival ran from May 27 to 29. Inishbofin CDP is part of the LCDP and it proves the point that community work isn’t all about paperwork and committee meetings! Dessie O’Halloran in fundraiser for Inishbofin. Photo by: Breda Lymer
2 Crumlin projects open doors to public On July 15th, two social inclusion projects in Crumlin, Dublin officially opened their doors to the public. The projects support people with disabilities and those leaving school early and are managed by Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership. The D12 Disability Mainstream Access Project and the D12 Early School Leaver Support Worker are now based on Windmill Road, beside the Hub Bar. Richard Costello, Community Development Team Leader, said, “The new premises marks a huge development for the projects and the capacity of the staff to become more accessible.” Damien Nolan is working on the disability project and Laura O’Sullivan is the early school leaver support worker. The disability project is currently supporting a group to grow food at Pearse College Allotments. The Windmill Road premises are also used by the RPCP’s ‘Shine On Lone Parent Support Group’ and ‘Feet On The Street Detached Youth Initiative.’ The premises can host meetings of up to a dozen people at a time and other community and voluntary groups are welcome to use the facility. More info: Contact Laura or 01-4563945 or Young Isabel O’Reilly checks out the Damian 01-4099667. new premises.
Democracy is sweeping every M.E. country Bush didn’t invade - Twitter
By Brendan Meehan and Allen Meagher
Man in court over “actions likely to stir up hatred”
27-year-old man was before Killarney District Court on April 19th charged with “actions likely to stir up hatred.” The charges are connected to the setting up of an anti-Traveller Facebook page called ‘Promote the Use of Knacker Babies as Bait’.
The accused, Patrick Kissane from Knockasarnett, Killarney, Co. Kerry, was back before Judge James O’Connor on July 19th and was remanded on bail to appear before the court for a full hearing on September 30th. The charges against him are in connection with offences dated October 1st of last year. Sergeant Dave McInerney of the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office based in Dublin confirmed to ‘Changing Ireland’ the case was unusual: “It’s the first time someone had been charged under the Incitement to Hatred Act for online publishing.” The Irish Traveller Movement’s assistant director Brigid Quilligan and Mary Boyne from Kerry Travellers Development Group attended the court on both dates “to observe and to monitor proceedings.”
100 years of International Women’s Days C
londalkin’s Intercultural Centre celebrated International Women’s Day with a film, music, Georgian singing, African hair-braiding, Indian, massage and ethnic food tasting. In the West, the Mayo Rape Crisis Centre (MRCC) marked the day by launching an arts project in Castlebar. Both events received support through the Local Development Companies and were typical of the many hosted worldwide on March 7th as rights activists recalled how far we’ve come in 100 years. In 1911, women’s working conditions were widely recognised as a problem. That year, women’s unions began campaigning for clean and safe working conditions for themselves and for child-labourers.
In 1911, women launched three key campaigns - demanding the right to vote, the right to equal pay and better working conditions for children and women. Susan McKay of the National Women’s Collective said that great strides had been made but true equality remained an aspiration.
World Cup in Cavan Community workers brought 165 children representing 14 nations together on June 10th to play in a Fair Play World Cup held annually in Cavan and Fermanagh for the past five years. The cross-border event was initiated by staff with Community Connections who are now part of Breffni Integrated’s LCDP. They use football as a social inclusion tool and it’s also helpful in promoting teamwork and skills development in a safe, fun and competitive environment. More information: www.westcavan.wordpress.com Photo by Tony Griffin: www.photosofblacklion.net
Minister Burton opens one-stopshop for Limerick unemployed inister Joan Burton, recently in the news for speaking of people making “lifestyle choices” to go on the dole, was in Limerick on July 1st to open a new integrated service for unemployed people. Located between a bookies and a chipper in Moyross on the city’s northside, the Local Employment Service’s new centre aims to meet people where they’re at. PAUL Partnership runs the operation and is integrating services away from its city centre head-quarters. The Minister for Social Protection applauded the thinking behind the move. “This approach very much fits with my Department’s policy of integration of services,” she said,” adding that she was struck by the “enthusiastic and imaginative way Limerick LES” delivers their service. The new office provides information and advice, job mediation, career guidance and job placement. The premises are a result of the merging of two full time Outreach Offices of the Local Employment Service (LES) which were located in Moyross and St. Munchin’s Community Centres. “I recall planning meetings when we said that we’ll meet clients on the beach in Ballybunion if need be,” said Sexton Cahill of the PAUL Partnership. The new location is at the entrance to Moyross, at the Watch House Cross Shopping Centre. Meanwhile, Minister Burton’s comments about people on social welfare led to lively exchanges on local station Live 95 FM.
Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action - Helen Dyer
The Hogan Stand
Interview by Allen Meagher
inister Phil Hogan wants “greater alignment” between the Local and Community Development Programme and local authorities, but does not plan to go further than that. “I want to align it more with local government, I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There’s a lot of good work being done,” he told ‘Changing Ireland’ in July. There are around 3,000 workers and thousands more volunteers involved in the Programme which has nationwide coverage. Contrary to some expectations, he will not transfer the Programme’s functions over to local authorities and recognises merits in the Programme and the need to get on with the work. Also, the Minister does not plan to shut down Pobal or to transfer its functions. Although Fine Gael identified it among their list of “quangos” Minister Hogan says it is “unique” in many respects and will continue to operate. “There are currently no plans to deliver the LCDP through the Local Authorities,” he said. “However… my Department has begun to examine the scope for greater alignment over a range of Local Government and Local/Community Development functions and programmes. …our aim is to establish greater links with local government and ensure more efficient and cost effective ways to deliver these programmes.” He said that “Equally, local government has to step up to the plate in relation to embracing the community sector which they haven’t done in the past.”
Minister Phil Hogan at the IRD Duhallow’s launch of the “Life” project. Sitting alongside him is Duhallow chairperson Michael Twohig.
MORE CHANGE COULD BE “DETRIMENTAL”
“I don't want to pre-empt the outcome of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure or Estimates process at the end of year, which may require us to take unprecedented actions to deliver services within budget, but I believe that embarking immediately on another phase of cohesion/integration of structures/ functions would undermine the Programme and result in a considerable diminution of the impacts the Programme is designed to deliver. “While greater alignment of functions between both sectors is the next logical step in the process, I think it would be detrimental to the LCDP and possibly other Programmes if it was embarked upon in haste. The Minister continued: “Most importantly, the Programme continues to be underpinned by the principle of community development, whereby local needs are identified and tackled at local level through integrated approaches which utilise the talents, skills and commitment of the community volunteers and workers.” “The direct involvement of members of the communities is essential if we are to get our responses right in addressing the issues that are important.” He said that, “the vision, the dedication and the tireless efforts of individuals in the community can make a huge difference and the work of the Local Development Companies to date in this regard is testament to this fact.” He recalled that five years ago the Taskforce on Active Citizenship was established to review evidence regarding trends in citizen participation. Six
Iceland went online to involve public in writing new constitution.
recommendations followed and he reported “good progress” on these. PROGRAMME’S LOTTERY FUNDING A proportion of LCDP funding comes from the National Lottery, but the percentage breakdown is not available. “No distinction is made between Lottery funds and Central Exchequer Funds,” said Minister Hogan, adding that “LCDP funding is not ring-fenced.”
JOBS TRAINING V. EMIGRATION
On LCDP work to prepare people for work, when many are planning to emigrate, the Minister said, “It’s essential that people are provided with the skills necessary to access education and in turn the jobs market,” and he added that “sustainable strategies for enhancing local employment prospects need to be put in place.”
JUSTIFYING HIGH ADMIN COSTS
Currently, the LCDP is subject to a high level of evaluation/paperwork, costing up to approx 25% according to some estimates. The Minister also wishes to see less paperwork, but said: “There is a need to strike the right balance between programme implementation (front line services and supports), and monitoring and evaluating work. But in the current economic climate it is important that public funded programmes can demonstrate their effectiveness, thus ensuring their ongoing sustainability. The monitoring and evaluation of LCDP activities by the LDCs is key in this regard.”
interview POBAL TO CONTINUE OPERATIONS
The continued existence of the Pobal agency was very much in question in the run-up to the recent general election, with Fine Gael proposing the takeover of its functions by local authorities. The body that handled €377m of national and EU funding in 2007 was threatened with closure. So when, we asked, is Pobal going to disappear? Who will take up the work? Minister Hogan pointed out that this is a matter for Government and not for he alone to decide. “While it is possible that the services provided by Pobal could be provided internally by my Department or other Departments, it is unlikely that significant savings would arise given that staff resources would need to be redeployed, systems would require development and the necessary expertise in providing advice to the sectors concerned may not be readily available.” He said Pobal was “unique” and had “considerable strengths.” We’ve posted the more detailed reply from the Minister on our blog.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME COSTS
Asked about the administration costs of the Rural Development Programme, Minister Hogan said: “There is a maximum allocation of 20% over the life of the RDP available for the running costs of the 36 Local Action Groups contracted on my Department’s behalf to implement the Programme. This amounts to up to €80 million in the 2007-2013 period which I believe is more than sufficient to ensure the effective delivery of the programme on the ground particularly in the current economic context where all bodies delivering state funding are expected to deliver more with less financial resources.”
PROJECTS CLAIMING CREDIT 'Changing Ireland' also put a question to Minister Hogan to end debate between projects in the Local and Community Development Programme – where projects co-operate on a piece of work, but lacked clear direction on who claims the credit. Sometimes the minor partner gets the credit, while the lead partner looks like they're sitting on their hands. Again we’ve posted the detailed reply from the Minister on our blog.
Local Govt needs to “embrace the community sector” - Minister
The launch of the ‘Life’ programme at IRD Duhallow’s office in Newmarket, Co. Cork.
inister Phil Hogan visited the IRD Duhallow in Newmarket, Co. Cork, on July 8th to launch a multi-million, EUfunded environmental project to save the River Allow.* ‘Changing Ireland’ interviewed him about countries he looks to for ideas, policies he intends pursuing, models of good practice and who inspires him. Asked was there any one country he looks to in terms of good community models, he said, “Scotland is quite good at community development, especially in rural communities. We’ll be keeping a close watch to learn from good practice.” “In urban centres, in England, especially cities like Manchester and Liverpool, they’ve done tremendous work through a bottom-up approach towards empowering people at local level.” He said the project he was visiting – IRD Duhallow – was “a model of best practice for rural communities.” “That’s a model you could use very effectively around the country, let’s see what best practice is in rural and urban areas and apply it in a model that actually works on the ground in delivering services to the citizen.” ‘POWER TO THE PEOPLE’ “I see a role for empowering citizens. I wrote about it in a far-reaching (policy) document some time ago called ‘Power to The People’ and it has now come to pass that “I’m the Minister involved in trying to implement it.” Much like his predecessors, he said he wanted to see less going on administration and more money going on programmes that
deliver for the citizens, and less duplication in the delivery of services. However, he will go a step further in seeking “more alignment” between local government and Government-funded programmes such as the LCDP. He said he was “getting a working group together to establish and evaluate the great work being done at community level and that will include the LCDP.” “The funding there is significant,” he remarked, adding that every programme is under evaluation under the Comprehensive Spending Review. “So I’ll look at what the Programme is delivering, the level of administration and ultimately the level of service to the citizen.” REDUCING BUREAUCRACY On the issue of frontline staff being occupied by paperwork, he said it “has been brought to my attention – the duplication and administration – and I’m trying to see with the help of this working group how to cut out some of the bureaucracy.” Minister Hogan said he will announce the expert group’s findings shortly and will have more to say about the closer “alignment” in the autumn. In the meantime, he takes inspiration from one person in particular. We asked who was his greatest hero, dead or alive. “My late father,” he replied. Phil Hogan, TD, is the new Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. *We will have more in our next issue, in October, about the work in Duhallow.
He who opens a school door, closes a prison - Victor Hugo
T��S SCHEME Working INTRODUCTION
Community groups are learning that they don’t have to be a registered charity or company to apply for a Tús Scheme worker. They provide the work, but they don’t employ the worker.
The Scheme is specifically for communities and over 3,000 local groups have already applied. Work varies from repairing computers to send to developing countries to coaching to energy conservation projects. If your community group has good, meaningful work for 12 months - or alternatively you think people are on the dole as a “lifestyle choice” - then keep reading. The Tús Scheme is a Department of Social Protection initiative which is being delivered by 52 Local Development Companies (see www.changingireland. ie for contact details) and by Údarás na Gaeltachta.
The spend on Tús in 2011 is €30m.
Rural Social Scheme workers in Co. Cork. Tus is partly modeled on the scheme and also covers urban areas.
“Surprising” interest in Tús
3,000 groups apply, 1,200 people recruited
he Tús Scheme is experiencing especially in rural areas a high level of take-up by people randomly chosen from the live register, in what seems to be a reflection of the hunger people have for work opportunities. The Scheme pays participants anything from €20 to €150 on top of their welfare payments for doing 19.5 hours of community work a week. Each placement is for one year. One area provoked a positive response rate of 97%, although there is more demand for places in rural than in urban areas. Some Local Development Companies (LDCs) rolling out the Scheme locally have passed out their targets while others are still in the early stages. Clare Local Development found the demand so great it is seeking to roll out an extra 100 places, with Mayo and Donegal also experiencing high levels of interest. In Clare, the Department of Social Protection sent out 300 letters and received 250 replies from people saying ‘Yes’ before the closing date. Only 10 people did not reply. The level of interest is “nothing as high
as that in urban areas, but it’s above 50%,” said the Department’s TJ Fleming, who admitted he was “surprised” at the high level of interest overall. He said LDCs already managing Rural Social Schemes are used to matching people to community scheme jobs and such areas have a particularly well-rooted community infrastructure. 3,000 COMMUNITY GROUPS APPLY Nationally, by July, 3,000 community groups had lodged applications. “Over 1,800 of them have been evaluated as being real community work placements,” said TJ. “The national target was to fill 1,000 places by June/July and we’ve about 1,200 recruited.” Over 5,000 people on the live register have received letters inviting them to participate. The Scheme means top-up payments for individuals who get a place and penalties for those who refuse to take part without a reasonable excuse. Not everyone invited to participate gets to do so – LDCs have the task of matching the people to places. “From a community viewpoint, you get work done in straitened times. From the
Department’s point of view, we offer people opportunities and also find out if people are unwilling to take up reasonable offers of work,” he said. The scheme has attracted criticism and has been labeled ‘workfare’ by some, is seen as possibly displacing volunteers and individuals cannot apply to join the scheme. (See our letters’ page). MINISTER BURTON ON GARDA VETTING In July, ‘Changing Ireland’ interviewed Minister Joan Burton who said individuals were welcome to apply for a place under the Government’s new scheme: www.jobbridge. ie. “With Tús, I’m aware there are organisations that would like involvement in the selection process. Let’s see how this phase goes and then we can have a review.” In relation to Garda vetting, which can take months and delays the placing of people in child-related community jobs, she has met Gardai and the Minister for Justice over the issue. She said they were “trying to cut out the delays.”
“Not everyone invited to participate gets to do so –” Well done to Claiming Our Future – 2 national gatherings to date!
TÚS SCHEME Working
Tús uptake in Dublin
Alan Jacques reports
ommunity and voluntary organisations around Dublin are soon to reap the rewards of the Tús scheme, an activation initiative for those on the live register. And while many Local Development Companies in the capital are still at the early stages of implementing the programme, the wheels of the phased placement scheme are now well and truly in motion. Eileen Dunne, administrator of Fingal Leader Partnership’s Rural Development Programme commented: “We’ve 140 places available and we’ve taken on two supervisors to date and they are currently being trained to make sure they are up to speed to work with the community and voluntary groups in our area. We’ve sent out letters to all the groups and we’re very happy with the interest we’ve received, it’s been overwhelming.” “Most of the groups are looking for more than one person so we will have no problem filling the placements. We could probably fill more if we had them. The supervisors will be going out soon to meet the groups and we
will then begin the interviewing process,” she Meanwhile, manager of Ballymun Whitehall added. Area Partnership Limited, Declan Dunne, According to manager of Ballyfermot/ said the programme is still in its early days Chapelizod Partnership, Ciaran Reid, their and is too soon right now to guage the two supervisors are now in place and they impact of Tús. “We have a small allocation have had 68 people referred from of just 40 places. We’ve just appointed Social Welfare. our first supervisor and the actual “We are in the process of implementation of the places have interviewing 40 individuals not taken place as of yet. We’re still for the 25 jobs identified,” waiting for people to be referred Mr Reid announced. from Social Welfare, so it’s really He went on to say that early days,” Mr Dunne told community and voluntary ‘Changing Ireland’. groups in Dublin 10 are on Brian Kenny from the Canals board with the Tús scheme Partnership said the reaction to to “varying degrees”. the Tús scheme has been “very “There’s a range of new positive” from the community, with Government programmes out groups seeking workers in childcare, there and a level of clarity is recycling, admin and sports. Alan Jacques needed to differentiate what the The Tús scheme was first announced best options are. Someone on the in Budget 2011 to provide short-term, Internship Programme, which is six to nine quality work opportunities for those who are months, will get an extra €50. So it really is a unemployed and to provide services of benefits case of finding out the best option and which to communities. programme best serves each group’s needs. Full details on Tús are available at: We have only 25 places here and we’re on the www.citizensinformation.ie way to filling those,” he said.
MAYO: John promises “meaningful” placements
A worker on the Rural Social Scheme, which Tus is partly modeled on. Photo courtesy Sligo Leader Partnership.
n Mayo, John Whittle of Mayo North East Development has 60 places available through Tus. “The people we’ve met are genuinely interested. They’ve told us, ‘I’d love to get out’, ‘I’m available’, ‘I’d be interested’.” John is taking care to match people and jobs in a fair manner rather than fill places fast. The key aspect for him is that the job places are “meaningful”. “At the moment, there are community groups looking to get people
to clear up cemeteries. That’s fine, but what are they going to do in a cemetery in November?” Fair point, considering the last two winters. He’s also had applications from sports organisations that are only active for certain months of the year. The scheme is a 12-month one. One solution is to match two applications for Tús workers and create one placement. “You have to have meaningful work for them. Otherwise people would say it’s a hames of a scheme,” he said. Another issue he’s dealt with is applications from the same area for similar positions from two community groups, where they both claim responsibility for a piece of community work. He witnessed two men on a scheme some years ago. They were building a stone wall and had only added one stone in half-an-hour. The reason: everytime they needed a new stone, they’d to trawl through a field to look for a suitable one because the project that sought their services either lacked the resources or the cop-on to buy a load of stone. John previously worked in the private sector and he detests seeing people on schemes reduced to playing ‘Solitaire’ on community centre computers. It happens. That kind of thing won’t happen on John’s watch. Apart from the extra payments that come with working on the scheme, John said people were anxious to get work, they were attracted to the comradeship of work, to get out of the house, and to learn new skills. “And the beauty of the Tus scheme,” he added, “is that after you’ve done your 19.5 hours each week, you can take up other work and social welfare won’t be after you.”
Fracking is a new form of mining that threatens Lough Allen area.
Slow road to spectacular community changes
Intergenerational work in East Wall INTRODUCTION
Next year is ‘European year on Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity’ and dozens of LCDP projects already support this work. Here we look at work in Cork and Dublin.
By Owen Binchy
elations between young and old had broken down in East Wall in Dublin and Nascadh CDP figured it was an important issue, but one that would take years of work. Now it’s paying off, writes project co-ordinator OWEN BINCHY: It took us five years to convince the older guys they would like intergenerational snooker. “Are you out of your mind?” they asked us when it was first mentioned. Now the intergenerational group has since Halloween played in three competitions. Everytime there is a competition now, the older guys just want to know when the next one will be. Interaction is spreading between younger and older people across the community. The feedback of what is happening on the street is amazing. Older people are no longer uncomfortable or scared going for example to the chipper. Because other teenagers have seen the
interaction, they’re now saying ‘Uh, how’s it going?’ to the older people. It’s a simple thing but it never happened before. They’re saying hello. When an older man goes into the chipper, he’s greeted with ‘How’s it goin’ Liamo!’ rather than the abuse that went on before. Older people are more at ease out and about. One older woman told me a group of local young people came up her and said. ‘You’re a legend.’ She was really chuffed. That type of interaction – as it becomes the norm – is priceless and now older people are changing their attitudes towards the young people. Our club for senior citizens has 20 regulars and half of them have very serious health complaints. A couple of them were given only a few months to live at different stages but they’re still with us and this project is really important to them. SLOW PROCESS But it’s been a very slow process. On paper you’d say that’s not worth the human resources, for instance working with 3-5 guys a day for a year. But finally the cycle of mistrust has been broken. We’ve linked up with Drumalee Social Housing complex which includes older people’s homes and we’re organising games of snooker with them. It’ll happen! CADBURY’S FUN GAMES Giant Jenga has also proven a big hit
with young and old. Cadbury’s now run fun games locally. Other popular games with us included welly-throwing and Nintendo Wii. (For more, check out: www.spotsvstripes.com) GARDA BAND We invited the Garda Band to perform here and it was a phenomenal hit. 250 people came along and everyone loved it from the children in Daisy Days Creche to the guys in the day care centre. For more info contact: Owen Binchy, Nascadh CDP, Sean O’Casey Community Centre, St Mary’s Road, East Wall, Dublin 3. T: 01-8893985. M: 087-0507634. E: email@example.com East Wall media pilloring The East Wall has its share of crime, but the tabloid media have made things worse, labeling local children as “feral”. As Citywide Drugs Crisis Campaign recently proved, the media can’t always get away with sensationalism and slandering of communities. The ‘Irish Independent’ was brought to task by the Press Ombudsman in June for stirring hatred against drug users. Nascadh CDP responded to negative coverage about East Wall by calling a half-day seminar on June 2nd to ask, “Can citizens and journalists work together to enhance the reputation of local communities and the image of young people?” Why I love being from East Wall Nascadh CDP ran an ‘East Wall For All Festival’ in May and, as with many of its projects, it was designed to be
IntergenerACTION in Cork and across Europe
intergenerational. In the same vein, the community came together for a clean-up of ten streets that won support from Store Street Garda Station and Dublin City Council. The project also recently organised a poster competition on not leaving dog foul after you, and an essay competition titled ‘Why I love being from East Wall.’ The project has also engaged in intergenerational art work.
Intergenerational work defined: Intergenerational work: • Brings older and younger people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities • Breaks down barriers that exist between younger and older people in disadvantaged communities • Builds respectful and cohesive communities which reduce social exclusion. - Viv Sadd, Mahon CDP.
has been designated as the ‘European year on Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity’, WRITES VIV SADD. This means working towards connecting and bringing together younger and older people in their communities and their daily lives. As a preparatory step, Mahon CDP has this year been playing a lead role in developing, organising and delivering a creative and interactive five-day residential training course to explore and develop new community-based intergenerational actions and activities. This course was aimed at youth workers who work with younger people with fewer opportunities. It helped them generate new ideas and develop concrete action plans about how
and what youth workers in community contexts can do at local and European level to develop current intergenerational practice. The training happened in Ireland in May and involved 26 participants from Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Holland and Sweden. Mahon CDP linked up with trainers from across Europe to jointly develop and deliver the training course. Funding was secured through Leargas , under the European ‘Youth in Action’ programme. Mahon CDP has a strong track record in developing and supporting intergenerational projects. Its most recent initiative was a digital photography programme involving four younger and four older people.
Camera tips for history lessons
Pat Horgan and Dean Murphy both live in Mahon and neither had any social contact with each other’s age group. Dean has really good photo skills and experience with cameras and works in a local camera shop in Mahon Point. Now, he’s shown Pat how to take the best shots. In exchange Pat has taught Dean some great local history. Mahon CDP brought the men together as part of its local intergenerational work.
Co-op surveys on LCDP
survey by the Community Worker’s Co-op of views on the Local and Community Development Programme found a majority of respondents wanted to see a commitment to community work “woven throughout the work.” The Co-op carried out two surveys and the results – available at www.cwc. ie - provide suggestions for how community
work can be strengthened in the LCDP. By and large those who responded via questionnaires were highly critical of the Programme. Anastasia Crickley, head of the Department of Applied Social Studies at NUI Maynooth, was among those to congratulate the Co-op for carrying out the surveys.
Happiness, it’s just a habit!
Art & Community Work
Art seeps into suburbia
€6,000 + 50 artists + 18 months = 1 mighty exhibition By Siobhan O’Dowd
he suburbs of Ballyphehane and Togher are only a couple of miles from the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork city, but in cultural terms they were a world apart until
recently. On May 6th, George Hurley, who joined the Men’s Art group in BallyphehaneTogher Community Development Project a few years ago, nearly burst with pride when he visited the opening in Crawford of an exhibition of work by his group. For him and 49 others from community arts groups in Ballyphehane and Togher this was remarkable. Most participants had never been inside the Crawford Gallery two years earlier, it simply wasn’t on their map of the city. In the intervening 18 months they had attended education sessions, master classes and workshops in the Crawford with artist Julie Kelleher, and now it was no big deal, they felt at home and for three weeks in May their work was put on display as part of the Bealtaine Festival. At the launch, Crawford’s curator Peter Murray said Ballyphehane/Togher work was as good and better than much of what he’d seen in students’ final year projects. George then stepped up and said his mother would pull him past the gallery as a child saying “You couldn’t trust the likes of them” but now 50 years later he was in the Gallery, he had his work on the wall and he appreciated the opportunity. However, back in 2010, Crawford were taken aback when the word ‘exhibition’ was first mentioned.
Margo Hayes, Glen CDP co-ordinator , Jean McCormack and Joan Hayes.
“Emma and Anne were shocked – they said an exhibition would be ‘moving beyond their comfort zone.’”
12th Irish Conker Championships on Oct 30 in Co. Kilkenny – KLP.
At first Crawford’s Emma Klemencic and Anne Boddaert were shocked – they said an exhibition would be “moving beyond their comfort zone” and it “would need to meet the standards of the Crawford.” But the CDP was on solid ground. We had nurtured a relationship with the seven local community arts groups in the area, all of whom had a mainly older membership, because we realised the benefits of community arts in terms of participation, community development and community health. We had created a network for all of these groups, to help them secure funding,
Art & Community Work Exhibition. Funding was important but success was due to everyone’s commitment, Emma and Anne’s interest and determination to enhance the outreach function of the Crawford, Teresa McCarthy’s support and organisational skills, and the enthuasiasm of all the community art groups.
support their leadership and nudge them from working on exhibitions of individual work to organising exhibitions around collective themes.
The relationship with Crawford began in January 2010, when Emma, Crawford’s outreach worker called. She said, “When Anne and I went to visit Ballyphehane/Togher CDP we were struck by the positive atmosphere. “Our job together, was to navigate how vibrant community activity could be met, channelled and facilitated within the gallery environment. We could offer some funds, the gallery spaces and equipment and access to tutors and artists.”
More info: Ballyphehane CDP – Call Siobhan O’ Dowd / Teresa McCarthy: 021-4319085. E: firstname.lastname@example.org Crawford Art Gallery – Call Anne Boddaert / Emma Klemencic: 0214907862/4907857. E: anneboddaert@ crawfordartgallery.ie
BRIDGING THE GAP
As both sides went to work, the Crawford staff saw the project could build a bridge between the gallery, a public institution, and residents of Ballyphehane/Togher. “This year long initiative has been our most sustained piece of work with any community group or network,” noted Emma. And the total cost: approximately €6,000. “If you divide this by the 50 participants who took part in workshops, tours and events over the year and exhibited work in a final professional exhibition, this works out at €120 per person,” said Emma.
EXCEPTIONAL VALUE FOR MONEY
I’m sure even ‘Changing Ireland’s most thrifty readers will agree that this is exceptional value for money. “We’ve learnt that the participants now view the gallery as a resource they can access in a real way. This would not have been the case before,” Emma added. It’s a two way street: “Traditionally the perception has been that knowledge is bestowed from the institution to the people, but this project (saw) the gallery embracing a more fluid two-way communication,” she added. During Lifelong Learning Week in April, the local community arts and craft group become artists in residence for a morning in the Crawford. By May 6th, artwork by individuals and groups were readied for a full exhibition in the Crawford Gallery as part of the Bealtaine
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Income Inequality / Citizens’ Forum “Most of our work is absolute bull” - Mayor at Citizens’ Forum
enagh Mayor, Councillor Seamus Morris, described his work as “absolute bull” at the NTLP-supported Citizens’ Forum in May. He agreed to open the Forum because he believes that currently it’s “very difficult” for citizens to get involved. “Most of the work we do is absolutely bull,” the Mayor said, pointing out that people often thank him for things they are entitled to in any case. He added that Ireland was in trouble as a society “and the only people who can do something about it are the citizens of this country.” Mayor Morris was one of the key speakers alongside Dr. Clodagh Harris from UCC and Dr. Peadar Kirby from UL at the Citizens’ Forum held in Nenagh in May. Dr. Harris gave examples of Citizens’ Juries and participatory budgeting, two civic innovations already working well in Ireland and other parts of the world. Author of ‘Towards the 2nd Republic’, Dr. Kirby said the Republic has failed “so dismally that we need to start again.” Over 40 people took part. After the event, a working group prepared a plan and submitted it to the local authorities in north Tipperary. The submission includes ten practical proposals to get citizens more involved in local government. North Tipperary Leader Partnership supported the event under Goal 4 of the Local and Community Development Programme which aims to get people from local communities involved in decision-making that effects their lives. ‘Changing Ireland’ shot a 5-minute video, our best-produced film to date, to show how the Citizens’ Forum works. Click the link on: www.changingireland.ie
Nenagh Citizens’ Forum was organised under Goal 4 of the Local and Community Development Forum. Pictured: Dr. Peadar Kirby, Dr. Clodagh Harris, Cllr Seamus Morris (Mayor) and Gerry Coffey.
Face up to salary gaps internally, urges Niall Crowley
he timing of the 2nd Claiming Our Future conference, held in Galway in May, was perfect. In the weeks leading up to the conference on income inequality, a political storm blew up over proposed cuts to low-wages, some of which have since come to pass. Allen Meagher interviewed one of the organisers Niall Crowley who says Ireland badly needs to “rethink” income and inequality. “There are a lot of myths,” said Niall. “For example, there are strange concepts of deserved inequality. The idea is if you work hard, you get paid well and if you don’t you won’t.” He said the idea that people are often the authors of their own downfall is missing the bigger picture: “To what extent are such people coming from a background where they were denied the opportunities available to other people?” It was, he said, a political issue. “We want to move away from models of development that serve to attack people on low wages.”
NGO BOSSES ON €150K+ Last year, the Irish Independent published the salaries of the bosses in the bigger disability NGOs. Enable Ireland’s CEO was, for example, paid €156,000 last year. Some bosses refused to co-operate with the newspaper. Niall said companies and local
379,000 people watched NALA’s ‘A Story With Me In It’ on RTE.
organisations, including those in the community and voluntary sector, should come clean on the difference in pay between highest and lowest paid in their oganisations. There shouldn’t be a difference greater than 10:1, he said, referring to a call by a think-tank in Britain for all companies to aim for this as a maximum salary difference ratio. A 5:1 rule has also been proposed. The New Economics Foundation also claimed that high pay rates reduce rather than improve the performance of top executives. OTHER BELIEF SYSTEMS Other countries have different models and belief systems: a) Sweden believes in high taxation on income. b) In Japan, it is culturally inappropriate to earn much more than fellow citizens. c) The 7th largest company in Spain is the Mondragon Corporation, a federation of worker cooperatives. “The myth exists that we all have to pay and accept pay cuts because of the recession, but this doesn’t apply to the top 5% of rich people,” said Niall. “It’s not going to change unless we change the rules.” LOCAL GROUPS TO CHALLENGE INCOME INEQUALITY A number of local Claiming Our Future groups are going to take the issue: “They’re looking at income inequality in their areas. It’s an issue in every locality.”
Community News / Programme Update 63 national bodies approved out of 149 hopefuls
organisations from 149 that applied have won funding under the ‘Scheme to Support National Organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector’. Of those chosen, 46 had been funded before under the scheme, although this time around most of the allocations are lower than previously. Funding overall for the scheme has dropped from €5.9m (2007) to €3.8m (2011) which could have meant that dozens more organisations had their applications refused. However, the Department reduced the average grant size making it possible to bring 20 organisations into the Scheme for the first time.
Over the coming 30 months, the organisations will receive €9.5m in grantsupport. Those receiving good news included the New Communities Partnership, Open Heart House, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and Safe Ireland. Among those to lose out were Irish Rural Link, the Community Workers Co-op and the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament. The Department said it reviewed the Scheme at the end of 2010 and the newly-announced allocations followed “an objective and merit-based competitive process.” The Department indicated it was “important” to give organisations that had not previously benefited a bite of the cherry once they met the criteria. Meanwhile, organisations that were turned down had a chance to appeal the decision. The Scheme that ran from 2008-2010 issued grants to 64 organisations, one more than today. Last year, the Scheme was reviewed and the criteria were amended. The funding covers core costs such as staff, administration and ongoing running expenses. The Wheel has published a list of the grants approved, comparing the organisations funded in 2007 with those funded from 2011. W: www.wheel.ie
Call for resistance after 20% cuts BY BRENDAN MEEHAN trade union conference held in May called for resistance to any further cuts in funding to the community and voluntary sector, REPORTS BRENDAN MEEHAN. Maeve McCarthy-Barrett of IMPACT’s Cork branch said the loss of key staff is hitting communities hard. She spoke of “vital needs being met by our colleagues in the community and voluntary sector,” saying, “This union must continue to be hard-headed advocates for the people, communities
and organisations that have managed, with very limited resources, to create a strong and vibrant sector which supports a strong social economy.” She said last year the sector was saddled with cuts of between 18% and 20%. A report by IMPACT in 2010 estimated that 5,000 jobs in the sector went because of the cuts; close to 10% of the workforce. It said the sector provides services worth €6.5 billion in Ireland’s most poverty hit communities. Impact’s health and welfare divisional conference called for a move away from block grants in favour of separate funding streams for capital, wage and running costs in the community and voluntary sector organisations.
Summer 2011: Programme takes shape
he Department of Environment, Community and Local Government provided figures to ‘Changing Ireland’ in June that show the number of projects funded under the Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP). The Department’s statement reads: “The latest phase of cohesion involves the integration of Community Development Projects (CDPs) with the 52 Local Development Companies (LDCs) and the establishment of the approved alternative structures. At one stage there was a total of 185 CDPs/groups being funded under the Programme, however this is now 153. “The position of these is as follows: 13 are classified as groups of national/ special innovation are not part of the integration process 49 form part of six approved alternative integration models: · 3 Northside CDPs · 17 Women’s CDPs · 6 Limerick CDPs · 14 Traveller CDPs · 2 Bray CDPs · 7 CDPs part of the HSE alternative model 71 have concluded with or in the final stages of the integration process with their aligned LDC. 15 remain outside the integration process for the moment but it is hoped that arrangements for these will be concluded later this year. 5 are part of an alternative model for the ‘Islands – non Gaeltacht’ which is currently under consideration within the Department.”
OECD jobs conference for Dublin, Oct 13-14.
The Control Of Horses
Act 15 Years On – Part 1
Everyone deserves a bite of the cherry T By Allen Meagher
INTRODUCTION he Control of Horses Act is now 15 years old and, earlier this year, Limerick City councillors argued over whether or not to continue taking horses from young people in the city’s sink estates. Mass round-ups have continued with the pound in action outside our office door in Moyross. The result – sometimes mayhem and there are as many horses and ponies grazing on the green as there ever were. “For every horse they take, the kids go and buy two cheap ponies and set them loose, just to get their own back,” one horse-owner in his 20’s claimed. Some councillors say it’s essential to Adeline O’Brien of Cherry Orchard Equine Centre. impound these unlicensed animals, others argue they are pets and the city should give a O’Brien. “Instead we bought 28 horses horse project a try. and anyone can use them - meaning we can The debate has echoed through council engage with hundreds of young people and chambers in Tralee, Carlow, Galway and their families from the Ballyfermot area.” other parts. “There were 6,000 people in Cherry So, ‘Changing Ireland’ visited Cherry Orchard then, no primary school and only Orchard Equine Centre in Dublin to see how one shop. The centre opened in 2003 with a horse project works in practise. The first 12-15 staff on 12 acres at a cost of €400,000 thing we learned was that the project is not for the year and providing a service to about about horses, but about young people. And 150 children. Now, we’ve 35 full-time staff, that’s probably why it receives grants from 15 part-timers, 60 young volunteers and a a number of Government sources, including budget of €1.6m.” the Local and Community Development Programme.
CHILD VOLUNTEERS GALLANSTOWN & Not many community projects have six-yearTHE CONTROL OF olds volunteering. The Equine allows anyone from six and up to join in the work. YOUNG PEOPLE The project is 8 years old and caters for 650 youngsters a week. Ten groups use the Centre, including 3 disability groups. “Everyone calls it a horse project, but it’s a children’s project. Horses are the hook,” says Adeline. External evaluators titled a recent report ‘It’s Not All About The Horses You Know’. BACKGROUND Ten years ago, the community campaigned for stables, but if a project was set up to manage stables for say 28 horses then it could only engage meaningfully with 28 families. “That’s a small number,” says Adeline
15 years ago, cars were being robbed, horses impounded and incidents occurred with the police. Young people in the area rioted, leading to saturation media coverage and, bizarrely, the introduction of the Control of Horses Act 1996. The area, known as Gallanstown, was renamed Cherry Orchard. Similar events took place in our community, Moyross, at the time and this area, Glenagross, went through a name-change. Horses are still kept by residents in the area today, despite harassment, as is the case today here in Sarsfield Gardens. Interestingly, since the Equine Project was
2012 is EU year of ‘Active Ageing & Intergenerational Solidarity’.
established, there’s been a decline in interest among some young people in owning horses, although that’s not one of their aims. Staff also found that “if you only work with horse-owners, you are encouraging young people to buy horses because they can’t be part of the project.” These are unexpected outcomes. The project’s mission is focused on the human population in the area, not horse numbers.
VOLUNTEER LEADERS’ PROGRAMME
There are 60 young people aged 10 and upwards on the project’s Volunteer Leaders Programme. They work every weekday after schooltime and every Saturday cleaning away the dung and leading horses carrying younger children around the yard. In return, each volunteer leader receives a free lesson or an hour’s ride-out. They are also put on a progression route.
45 ON PAID COURSES
There are another 45 young people who are paid on a FAS-supported Community Training Programme that provides FETAC
The Control Of Horses levels 3 and 4 courses in stabling, farrier skills and horse welfare and - marking the Centre apart from commercial pony clubs - tutoring in literacy, numeracy and computers. The project is the only working class member of the Irish Pony Club and the only one from an urban area too. There is a good 50/50 gender divide among the centre’s users. Adeline said, “This is remarkable because as anyone engaged in community development will tell you, it’s traditionally seen as very hard to engage with young men, especially between the ages of 15-20.” “The Equine” as it’s called locally manages to do so. How many community projects nationwide can claim to have young men attending classes in sexual health awareness? Not a lot in case you’re wondering.
BUILDING TRUST / FIGHTING MARGINALISATION
“Horses help break down barriers and you build up trust,” says staff member Peg McMullin. “The young people living here do feel very marginalised when they go out and about beyond their own community.” Adeline points out: “We are not just teaching them how to ride safely. Staff here have a lot of community development training.” “We use a holistic approach and link with local youth services, we’ve an integrated model of service provision. 90% of the Centre’s income comes from State grants with FAS for instance funding the Community Training Programme and the Youth Service supporting 300 of the 650 young people who
Act 15 Years On – Part 1
Lucy from Cherry Orchard.
Patsy Kershaw and Jimmy Gallagher at the reception desk.
attend the Centre every week. The Dyspraxia Association of Ireland is one of the groups using the Centre for the therapeutic effects it has on the children. They say it’s as good as any occupational therapy they do.
Local resident: Patsy Kershaw
Adeline puts the project’s success down to the “magic” of the equine: “We’ve 2 people employed here who are professional equestrian instructors who started with us on the earlyschool-leaving programme. They’re now qualified and have been approved by the British Horse Society. One professional youth worker also came through here.” The result – people with no Leaving Certs come to the Equine, do FETAC courses and, on average, 15 young people a year go onto third level. The Centre offers a tracking system so it can support the young person for 6-12 months or as long as they need after moving onto further education.
DOESN’T SHOW IN EVALUATIONS
By the end of my visit – for reasons greater than those outlined here – I was utterly convinced of the project’s absolute connection with the people in the area it serves. When I say I can’t fully publicise it, unfortunately that’s often the way with good community projects. Some of the best community development work is carried out under the radar, and needs to be. It doesn’t show up in evaluations, nor is it named in annual reports. If you’re curious, you’ll have to call by yourself! More info: www.cherryorchard.ie Young volunteer Peter Behan sweeping the stables
Receptionist Patsy Kershaw is a local resident and her late husband Leslie was one of the project’s founding members. She remembers moving to Cherry Orchard: “When it was built was like moving into an empty field. We all had big families and there were no buses, but we had horses.” “There was many a foal born in my back garden. It wouldn’t happen now, but one day a horse we had in the back garden - a very clever one who’d worked out how to lift door handles got into my kitchen and ate my dinner. “I’ve seen children from ten to 12 years of age idolise their horses and would cry bitterly over it when the pound take them. The pound only care about the commission they get for each horse. “Leslie started a pony club and he trained the children because they didn’t know how to groom and wash their animals. It was a terrible fright we didn’t get the stables the community originally hoped for. I’d say Leslie would have gone along with the Centre, but would have still fought to get the stables as well.” “The Centre’s brilliant. I’m here 8 years.” Is the project a su cces So, is Cherry Orchard s? Equine Centre a su ccess? If you measure the project’s success by at the improved life looking -chances for the kid s from there, yes, it’s a success an d proof that quality community development works . If you measure succ ess by asking are the still unlicensed horse re are s grazing on the gre ens in Cherry Orchard’s est ates, then ‘No!’
The LCDP aims to support 18 target groups nationally.
There’s the News & then there’s Other
Youth worker in revealing tell-all blog
youth worker has split colleagues across Britain with his tell-all anonymous blog. The author of ‘Working with the Underclass’ describes himself as liberal and someone who believes in the welfare state, but he receives emails from readers denouncing him as “rightwing, a bigot, fascist and even a misogynist.” He talked about staff in a care-facility leaving children run away right in front of their eyes, because to physically stop them might be considered assault. Children are suffering he says, from overly-PC workers who put the rights of young people above their welfare. He says he is driven to despondency by the dependency culture among young people and was aghast that an unemployed young man he knew managed to get his signing on time changed because he didn’t like getting up in the mornings. He condemned fellow youth workers for engaging in box-ticking and adhering to targets while ducking confrontation with children engaged in anti-social behaviour. They either love him or hate him. W: winstonsmith33. blogspot.com/
Horace McDermott – our good news
Jammie Dodgers Get Away The riots in Britain led to copycat behaviour in Ireland, but the good news is the riots here were entirely confined to my biscuit tin! A lad called Rocky hit a Penguin over the head with a Club, tied him to a Wagon Wheel with a Blue Ribbon and made his Breakaway in a Taxi. The Gardaí say Rocky was last seen just After Eight in Maryland with a Ginger Nut, an accomplice only known to the Gardaí as Rich T. They didn’t leave a crumb of evidence, so the Jammie Dodgers probably got away with it!
250,000 Irish people have been promised jobs over the next five years. The new scheme called Jobs Emigrants Take Abroad has already been credited with saving the country from sinking more than a couple of times.
More good news! Scientists have cracked how politicians and the media take a softly-softly approach to talking about bad news. Consider the following: The Troubles, The Emergency, The Downturn, The Soup, The Rising, The Boat (she took the boat), The Act of Union (not a sexual reference), The Pipe, The Bog, The Big Smoke, The Current State of the Economy. If it’s got the word ‘The’ in the title, then steer well clear!
Everyone to get 70 days holidays As we now know, FAS staff enjoy 70 days holidays a year in the two years before they retire. The great news is the scheme has been such a success that it will be extended nationwide, to apply to every worker in the public and private sector. The Minister for Work, Holidays and Taking It Easy said we all could do with a good break. “FAS successfully piloted the scheme, it had a very high participation rate and SIPTU don’t want to see it go. So, 70 days holidays for everyone is now on the cards,” he said. The Minister for Finance has signed off on it with
Immigrants hardest hit in what we call ‘the downturn’.
an added detail. It starts in 2091 and applies to everyone who can definitively prove that a relative of theirs took part in the Battle of Clontarf.
New National Flag
As excitement mounts in the build-up to the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, there is a grassroots movement afoot to replace the tricolour with live sheep. Sheep-farmers have welcomed the move. The sheep will be hoisted aloft buildings using scaffolding techniques perfected over many years by the organisers of the Killorglin Puck Fair. Alternatively, it will be acceptable for people with steel flagpoles to fly live, burning bondholders in place of the sheep.
Odcs Struggling Too! Ordinary decent criminals are struggling to survive in The Downturn and may have to turn to white-collar crime to get by. For this, they’d need retraining. “Times are tough,” says one. “We broke into 5 houses in an estate last week and there wasn’t a soul there. We legged it once we heard there was a ghost on the estate.”
Form Re This Issue Of
Sorry ‘bout this now, dear readers, but in keeping with new requirements the last 7 pages of this issue will be an evaluation form... Please indicate how you received this copy of Changing Ireland: (a) Came in the post addressed to me (b) Picked it up near the kettle at work (c) Carrier pigeon (d) Thrown at me by frustrated work colleague Please rate Changing Ireland: - Good - Great - Brilliant Indicate what percentage of your work time is taken up in filling up this form to the nearest %. ________ (continues for 54 more questions overleaf....)
Community Work DVD By Regina Byrne *
onaghan Integrated Development has launched its first ever DVD – ‘Innovative Community Work in County Monaghan: Examples of Good Practice & Achievement’. The 20-minute DVD highlights the work of three groups.
CHILDCARE & RURAL TRANSPORT
Latton Social Services and Development in mid-Monaghan run a childcare facility, Fingers & Toes which serves a large disadvantaged rural area by providing accessible and affordable childcare facilities. Established in the late 1990s as a small crèche with two part-time workers, the crèche now caters for 90 children daily. The DVD traces the story of this successful project from the beginning and shows what can be achieved through collective action. Alice Forde, community activist and founding member, describes how the crèche opened in 1995 with 12 children, how the community rallied around and conducted needs analysis, fundraised and secured a longterm lease from the GAA. The service is now invaluable and has been the catalyst for other developments such as Balti Bus, the county-wide rural transport programme managed by the Latton Social Services and Development and funded by the Department of Transport. The Balti Bus now serves all of County Monaghan. Padraic Smyth, rural transport co-ordinator, and passengers feature on the DVD.
BUILDING COMMUNITY CENTRES & SOCIAL HOUSING
Lisdoonan Recreation and Development in south Monaghan was formed in 1993 and aims to facilitate the improvement of the area in social, economic and physical terms and to provide services in the community that encourages the local population to remain. Mary Ward, founding member, describes in the DVD how the community embarked upon its first project - building the local community
From planning to completion, the DVD took six months. Filming took place over two days. Copies of the DVD are available by contacting Monaghan Integrated Development’s Castleblayney Office on 042-9749500 or e-mail rbyrne@ midl.ie
centre - and how other projects developed from this. The Association has, in a relatively short time, achieved many of its aims and objectives, including a social housing project consisting of 14 houses and a communal house with laundry and guest room.
* Regina Byrne is Community Development Officer with Monaghan Integrated Development.
CROSS-BORDER LEARNING & OLDER PEOPLE
Truagh Development Association, set up in 1985 and based in north Monaghan, also featured. The Association’s activities are geared around building community, promoting peace, celebrating a sense of place, establishing ‘Centres of Learning’ for all and achieving reconciliation. In 2005, it opened the Blackwater Valley Learning Centre which houses a crèche, primary school, IT room and Community Services Programme (CSP). The CSP supports many local activities for older people. Fr. Sean Nolan, a man synonymous with community development in North Monaghan, describes the work and involvement of the community in establishing the Blackwater Centre and its services. Josie Brady outlines the value of the CSP to older people.
The DVD is an educational resource for groups. The aim was to produce a short film suitable for showing at meetings to encourage groups to embark upon the development of socially inclusive projects in their areas. The DVD project hopes to: ● increase awareness of social exclusion; ● highlight quality community actions to promote inclusion; ● facilitate the exchange of learning between communities, and; ● encourage groups not engaged in social inclusion work to undertake such work.
Community DVDs Do’s and Don’ts!
onaghan’s DVD, is 20 minutes in length, professionally produced and features three community groups. Costs can be lowered: (a) by producing a shorter film, or, (b) if you have multi-media skills in-house or within your community. Regina Byrne also gives the following tips: ● Agree with the groups featured what they want to say in advance. ● Find the groups by calling openly for expressions of interest. ● The groups featured will benefit from their involvement. Their presentation and writing skills will improve and it raises their profile. ● Be disciplined and keep to deadlines or the project will run over time. ● Be very prescriptive when calling for tenders from film-production companies. Call Regina for more insight or tips from their experience.
India spends double its education & health budgets on military.
Map your community’s needs online! Social inclusion mapping now a reality
ith the click of a mouse, you can now view levels of deprivation in your area under a range of categories and down to street level. You don’t hear people saying ‘Thanks to Pobal’ everyday, but that’s where the credit is due and this is a free resource which people will tend to underestimate until they try it out. As the CSO releases new information, the intention is to update the data, building up
fresh layers on the map, where you can zoom right in on the community where you work and/or live to show where the needs are greatest. The 2011 census information will bring us right up-to-date, since the country has entered recession territory since the last census in ’06. Pobal’s John Manning reported: “Our new online mapping system went live on February 8th and we have seen a huge level of interest since then.”
How to use Pobal Maps
ou can use Pobal Maps for five minutes to get a picture of how your area measures up or spend time on it to help with strategic planning. In technical terms, Pobal Maps is a new GIS (Geographical Information System) online application, as John Manning from Pobal explained it. It allows users to easily compare and contrast electoral divisiond and small area profiles in terms of their relative level of affluence or disadvantage. WHAT’S A SMALL AREA? Small areas, as defined by the map-makers and statisticians, have a minimum of 65 households, an average of 92 and a maximum of just over 900. This is the first time that this small area dataset has been used on any GIS in Ireland. Area profiles are available as spreadsheets and reports, downloadable from Pobal’s website in addition to Pobal Maps.
New link to State online services: www.gov.ie
The maps system builds upon the PobalHaase Deprivation Index for Small Areas, which provides very detailed information on local areas and gives a score calculated against a national average. HOW TO USE IT The system is layer based. Users first mark off the boundaries around a geographical area they are interested in, for example: local authority, electoral division, townland, small area, city/county childcare committee, RAPID/ CLAR Area etc. MEASURE YOUR AREA Data for that area can then be layered under the headings such as: population change, age dependency ratio, lone parent ratio, proportion with primary education only, gender-divided unemployment rates,
An update in April added boundary information and street level mapping. “It is our intention to add datasets from other programmes to the system and build up a rich set of publically accessible information,” said John. “We will also seek to include additional functionality to the system as appropriate at regular intervals.” CHILDCARE DATA NEXT An update this summer will map more than 4,200 early education and childcare facilities that participate in the national childcare schemes funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. What it means for parents is that they will be able, for example, to access the free preschool year for their children. It will also allow city and county childcare committees, Pobal and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to manage allocations, monitor changes in service and plan for future needs. John said that Local Development Companies are going to find the mapping very useful as they engage in strategic planning for their areas. “They can identify down to street level where the focus of their activities need to be,” said John. Other groups will find it equally enlightening. If you’re at a computer, you can try it out straight away at: http://maps.pobal.ie/ Pobal welcomes feedback and suggestions for improvements and additional functionality. Email John on: email@example.com
proportion in local authority rented accommodation, and relative index score. EXTREMELY RICH/POOR AREAS Each data set can then be measured, by every electoral division or small area, on a seven point scale, ranging from extremely disadvantaged, to very affluent. The percentages of persons which fall into each of these categories can also be displayed. CONFIDENTIALITY To protect the confidentiality of individuals and households, the CSO decided that no data should be disclosed where a spatial unit comprises less than 65 households.
TÚS COVERAGE DISAPPOINTS 7 Canon Street,
Kells, Co Meath Dear Editor, Let me say firstly that I have over the past few years enjoyed immensely reading your magazine with robust and refreshing style. I must however register a protest at what I consider to be a snow job done of the proposed Tús scheme in your last issue. Apart from a token mention of Gino Kenny’s criticism, you appear to have largely endorsed this scheme (the pill sweetened by giving it an Irish name). It has a strong element of compulsion and has to be seen in the broader context of a more hardline approach to the unemployed and other social welfare recipients in this and other jurisdictions. And who may I ask decides what is a “valid” reason for not accepting a place? I note that the ICTU and the INOU have already voiced objections. I for one will strongly oppose any collaboration with this scheme in the community and voluntary sector until am I convinced otherwise regarding its merits. Yours sincerely, Danny Cusack (Vice-chair Kells Peoples Resource Centre) in a personal capacity
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CWC! Le Cheile CDP,
Dundalk, Co. Louth Dear Readers, I attended the AGM of the Community Workers Cooperative on July 5th with the knowledge that their funding has been cut. Steadily over the last number years, organisations that stood up for the vulnerable have lost the support of governments. Witness the closure of Combat Poverty, cuts to the Equality Authority and the decimation of the Community Development Programme. For 30 years, the CWC has offered critical analysis of the issues of social exclusion and sought workable solutions. It is difficult for those working with people at the bottom of the social system to see these cutbacks as anything but an
TÚS NEEDS A TRAINING ELEMENT Coolnahau, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny Dear Editor, The coverage of the Tús Programme promising 5000 community “jobs” in the last issue of ‘Changing Ireland’ was disappointing. Reference was made that the 5,000 places on Tús seemed to mirror the jobs lost in the community and voluntary sector, and a minor reference was made to a critical comment by a ULA councillor. But that`s it. There was no critical analysis; instead loads of PR claiming it will be to the benefit to everyone. Really? The ICTU, UNITE and the INOU have major issues with it. UNITE point out that participation is not voluntary but obligatory and that the scheme has no training element. The trade union also says the Tús workers will be used to replace people made redundant by cutbacks. Tús copies the American ‘workfare’ model of making unemployed people work for their dole and it will see well-trained professionals, now redundant, replaced with “Yellow” pack workers. It is unlikely that Local Development Companies (LDCs) are going to make too much of a song and dance about this, having a track record of being meek implementers of attack on the poor. Despite the cuts, the mood at the AGM was not as sombre as I had expected. This was no wake. CWC members are taking the long view and we see events as part of a cycle in the struggle for equality in Ireland. Our spirits were lifted by a quote from Alice Walker: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” People may feel down now but we must remember that this is a long struggle and if we maintain solidarity and determination we can effect change in Ireland. Who knows we may look back at this and see it as a turning point where the CWC became stronger and more independent. So Happy Birthday to the CWC and many more of them! - Maurice McConville
state policy, however objectionable. However, some LDCs can see the negative impacts and are reluctant to get involved in the roll-out of Tús. Community organisations and LDCs should at least try and turn the 5,000 Tús places into 5,000 new CE schemes. It cannot be prohibitively costly to add a meaningful training element to the scheme and then community organisations will get participants, who opt for this opportunity, without being forced to do so. What we should not allow happen is for our community sector to become the guinea pigs, the weakest link, for the introduction of `workfare`. Yours sincerely Thomas Erbsloh (Community Sector Member of UNITE) EDITOR’S NOTE: On your criticisms of our coverage, our reporting was aimed at informing readers about what the scheme would do rather than debating the merits of it. The scheme is a work in progress and criticisms/suggestions – which aim to make such schemes fairer - are welcome (space permitting). Thomas’ original letter was longer and has been published on our new Changing Ireland Opinion blog: http://changingirelandopinion. blogspot.com/
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Dear Readers,
University College Cork is looking for volunteers to take part in research. This research asks about people’s thoughts and experiences on: • Community crime or antisocial activity. • Aggression or conflict in personal or family relationships. • Crimes committed against businesses. There are a number of ways people can take part. The survey can be found on the Violence & Abuse Prevention Alliance website. Otherwise, volunteers can write to us or do a phone interview by contacting the researcher directly. Your identity will not be recorded or requested. For further information please visit www.vapa. ie or request the contact details of the researcher through ‘Changing Ireland’. - Name with Editor
Which is more cost-effective: to repair water pipes or install meters?
Maura Hickey took photos 1 & 2 above while A Meagher took photo 3.
Rita Fagan, Mary Robinson & Dalai Lama
CDP community activist Rita Fagan shared a stage with the Dalai Lama and Mary Robinson on Saggart, Co. Dublin last April. Rita’s appearance was a recognition of her leadership role in Inchicore, Dublin, and
nationally, as an activist for social change. The sell-out Possibilities event aimed to show that we all have a duty to strive for change. ‘Changing Ireland’ was there and our Youtube Channel features videos of both Rita and the Dalai Lama making presentations:
www.youtube.com/user/changingireland The event was organised by Spunout.ie, Children In Crossfire and Afri. For updates, visit: www.possibilities.ie
A FATHER’S STORY FROM THE HEART
ost people don’t really realise the horrors a man goes through when he’s separated from his child. Here, Dave, not his real name, tells his story: As an unmarried father separated from his child’s mother, every day brings new challenges. I am now four months into what I can only describe as the most hellish and painful ride imaginable. It can be difficult enough to come to terms with a relationship breakdown where there has been love between two people, but when such a breakdown causes you to be separated from your children it’s a far more traumatic and crippling situation to be in. I live for my beautiful two-year-old son. In fact my little boy right now is the only thing that keeps me clinging on to life. The pain of not being able to see my child every day and not even knowing where he lives is a pain that has been so unbearable that at times taking my own life has seemed like the only answer. Sometimes it still does. But my love for my child and my want to be there for him and see him grow up and be there whenever he might need me keeps me fighting to get through this difficult time. My child is my life, my reason for living, and for him I struggle on in the hope of one day being in a better place. I was present when my son came into the world and I was never so happy in my whole life. He shone new light into my heart and became the most important thing in my world. He is so precious to me. My child always came first no matter what. My son’s mother has battled addiction and mental health problems for most of her adult life. She became increasingly erratic and unstable soon after the birth of our child. Despite her problems I loved her but for my son’s sake I ended up staying in a relationship that became increasingly volatile. As far as I was concerned this was my lot and I told myself that my own life was forfeit; being there for my son was all that mattered. I would not wish the pain I feel right now on anyone. Being separated from your children is soul destroying. I feel as though I am not living only existing. What makes the situation all the harder is the fact as an unmarried father I have no rights. I am made feel not only by the mother of my child but by the Irish State as an inconsequential part in my son’s life. I have to make an application to the court’s simply to be recognised as my child’s guardian and to have some say in his upbringing.
Fathers love their children as much as mothers do and should be treated with far more compassion and respect than they are currently. The Government needs to change the laws in this country for our children’s sake. - Dave
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